Reading Assignment - Class #13

Please read mitzvot #430 and 433.  Please consider the following questions:

 

Mitzvah #430:

1.        According to the author, what do we mean when we use the word “baruch” or “yitbarach” in relation to God?

2.      Exactly what are the characteristics of a blessing that make it different from other statements?

3.      Sometimes when we say a blessing we begin with the word baruch and end with a sentence that begins with the word baruch.  Sometimes when we say a blessing we begin with the word baruch but do not use the word baruch elsewhere in the blessing.  Sometimes we only use the word baruch at the beginning of the final sentence.  Try to tease out what the author says about when each of these situations applies.

4.      The rabbis understood this mitzvah d’oraita to require us to bless after eating certain foods, what we know as birchat hamazon.

a.      D’oraita, when are we required to bless after eating products made from the five grains: wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt?  D’rabanan when else are we required to bless after eating grain products?

b.      D’oraita, are we required to bless after eating the food crops which the Torah mentions in the context of praising Israel (pomegranates, figs, dates, olives/olive oil, grapes/wine, barley and wheat in forms not covered by the prior question)?   The author’s discussion of this topic is confusing and the author describes several opinions.  See how much you can make sense of.

5.      When we are in doubt about whether we have said a blessing that is required d’oraita we should say the blessing even at the risk of repeating ourselves.  When we are in doubt about whether we have said a blessing that is required d’rabanan we should not say the blessing.  Should a person bless after eating the following if the person isn’t sure whether or not the person has already said a blessing:

a.      Enough bread to feel satisfied?

b.      An egg’s volume of bread but not enough to feel satisfied?

c.       An olive’s volume of bread?

d.      An egg’s volume of dates?

e.      An olive’s volume of dates?

6.       Someone is eating a variety of foods but no bread.  In what order should be person say the required blessings and eat the foods?

 

Mitzvah #433:

1.       The author describes a dispute between Rambam and Ramban about the d’oraita requirement of this mitzvah.  What are those opinions?

2.      Either way, the rabbis enlarged the obligation to pray.  According to our author, what is the origin of our current patterns of required prayer?

Comments